Category: unique girls’ names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
If you scan the annals of distinguished women in American history, culture and science, you’ll find that a surprising number of them had distinctive names as well, names that could provide unique-ish choices with interesting back-stories. Several of them have a funky, fusty period flavor that may or may not appeal. What do you think?
Abba Goold Woolson– a turn-of-the-last century teacher-author, remembered for her liberating efforts against ‘the physical discomfort and disease caused by corsets and other constricting forms of dress.’
Albion Fellows Bacon (named for her father)— a housing reformer who pushed laws to regulate housing sanitation of tenements.
Alta Weiss was a double threat—a pitcher with a men’s semi-pro baseball team who went on to become a doctor.
Some weeks I’m astonished by the range of names we can choose for girls.
We love our children regardless of gender, but when it comes to talking baby names, many of us seem to be on Team Pink. The statistics bear this out: almost 79% of boys born in the US in 2011 received a Top 1000 name, while the same is true for just 67% of girls.
2012 social media babies Like and Facebook were both girls, and rumored baby Hashtag is also supposed to be a she. Meanwhile, former #1 name Mary has plummeted to #112, while her male counterpart, John, remains a relatively common #27.
Our conclusion: No matter how unusual they are by the numbers, these names are drawing considerable buzz. And that’s bound to translate over the coming years into usage for a lot more babies.
Besides their incipient popularity, these names share several appealing qualities. Most relate to nature, but in a fresher, less obvious way than the Lilys and Roses we’ve heard so much of in recent years. Many have deeper roots than they first seem, plus intriguing cultural connections.
And is it coincidence that four of the 11 start with the letter C, and seven contain the letter L? We don’t think so.
Our picks for 11 unusual girls’ names we see destined for stardom.
The arrival of Blue Ivy, firstborn daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z, was a signal for every commentator to discuss wacky celebrity baby names once again. It is a topic that never seems to grow old, though many name cognoscenti rated Blue as relatively tame, perhaps even less original than we’d expected from the stylish duo.
Ellen DeGeneres congratulated the couple, then revealed their secret – The Celebrity Baby Name Generator, issued to every star. While Ellen and her partner Portia and childless, she gave the BNG a spin to see what they’d name their twins. The answer? Banjo Fire Escape and Elbow Gas Lamp – the latter, she quipped, obviously a boy’s name.
Despite all of this gentle mockery, I’ve fallen in love with modern word names over the past few years. Maybe it is because of all those blog babies with such adventurous appellations: Reverie, Morrow, Drummer, Glow. Based on the chatter on the forums and in recent blog posts, I’m not alone at Nameberry.
This week’s Top Nine suggest that world is adapting to a much broader pool of given names:
King – American parents might choose this regal name in memory of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. But he made headlines last week as one of the names most frequently rejected by New Zealand naming authorities, along with fellow royal titles Prince and Princess, plus noun name Justice.
But we’ve got a quieter, less obvious, but potentially more interesting list for you: those girls’ names that don’t make the Top 100 but that are attracting a dramatic rise in interest this summer over last.
Some of the names here bear a relationship to those on the most popular list: Aveline instead of Adeline, for instance, or Indigo rather than Scarlett, or Clover as opposed to Ivy or Poppy. While not all of these names are destined for future popularity, the baby namer in search of a name that will feel as fresh in ten years as it does today should take heed.
Our list of secretly popular girls’ names 2011 (look for the boys’ list next week):